I’m Charlene Jacobs and I love UConn Basketball. I have enjoyed supporting
the team by bringing signs with me to games. At times they are as simple
as “Go Huskies” or “Defense,” or “3” for a 3
Point Basket while others are more personal, saying “Happy Birthday” to a player or “Congratulations Seniors” on senior night.
In a lot of cases these players come to Connecticut from far away and it’s
important to me to let them know that I care and encourage them to feel at
home. They usually acknowledge my signs and seem to appreciate them.
Dressed in my UConn attire—from UConn earrings, hair scrunchies, shirt,
jacket and many pins—I bring my signs to each game I attend. I have
traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida for the National Championship, to
Maui, Hawaii, for the Maui Invitational, and to several local games at
Madison Square Garden, Providence Civic Center, Hartford Civic Center and
Gampel Pavilion. Over time, fans sitting around me began looking forward
to what sign I would have with me at each game. They began referring to me
as the “Sign Lady”.
UConn Basketball is exciting and frustrating at the same time. It’s an
enjoyable way to pass the cold winters in Connecticut; each game becomes
part of the water cooler conversations at work the next day. We refer to
the players by their first names, like we’ve known them all of our lives.
We compliment as well as criticize their game.
Throughout these players’ four years at UConn, we get to know a little
about their personal lives and more about their life on the court. We like
all of them. Every player is special to us. But before we know it, their
four years have come and gone, and they move on to a variety of careers.
Some we hear about in the news, the others we’re left to wonder about
where they went and what they are doing.
As college kids they are involved in much more than playing basketball and
academics. They participate in many volunteer functions, including the
Juvenile Diabetes Walk, where the players are available for autographs,
and the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive that Coach Calhoun founded. They
also find time for fans like me to simply lift the spirits of someone in
need. I found this out personally back in April of 1999. Two weeks after
they had won the National Championship and the team had many functions to
attend, I had a subarachnoid hemorrhage at the UConn Parade. A few days
later, Edmund Saunders (power forward ‘97-‘00) came to visit me at
Hartford Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, and Ricky Moore (guard ‘95-‘99)
called me from a cell phone to wish me well. Thanks Edmund and Ricky for
the special things you do. How special is that?! From that week on, I knew
that I wanted to let all other UConn fans know how special these players
are off the court and follow their careers after college.
I’ve often wondered what career paths many players have taken after
school. I know there are other people who wonder too. Through this
website, I’ve taken on the challenge of finding out where some of our
players are now. They are all very interesting individuals and I hope you
enjoy learning more about them as much as I am enjoying catching up with
I would like to thank Murray Williams (forward ‘87-‘91) for giving me the
opportunity to interview him. Murray was my first contact and was willing
to provide a few other players’ contact information to help me get
started. Murray, thanks for making my basketball hobby/interest a reality.
Credits also go to Chana Monahan, our webmaster,
Ruthie Ursone for the ongoing editing work and Tom Lavieri for his ideas in getting the website started.
Their expertise has helped this project come to life.
The Sign Lady
The Huskies #1 Fan